Pedder hampered by ill handling car
- 2nd July 2016, 10:13am
Scott Pedder’s opening Leg of Rally Poland, the seventh Round of the FIA World Rally Championship, has seen the Australian struggle with an ill handling Skoda Fabia R5 on roads that demand high-speed precision.
“It’s been a handful from the very first day,” said an exasperated Pedder. “The feeling in the car has been progressively worse all day, especially under braking and turning. We think it’s diff related, however we won’t know until we get into the first stage tomorrow morning to know if it is any better or not.”
Pedder explained that a similar problem had befallen the team during pre-event testing, that had already led to the Skoda’s diff being replaced, and he was hopeful that this would provide the solution to their Leg One problems.
Having started the day outside the WRC2 top ten, after a comfortable pace on Thursday evening’s opening Super Special Stage, Pedder immediately began to claw back time against his rivals despite a red hot pace at the front of the ultra competitive category.
“The top five pace today was unbelievable, those guys are on a completely different planet, and rumour has it they are basically trying to out drive each other to secure a factory Toyota drive for next year,” said Scott.
As the day progressed Pedder’s handling issues continued to worsen, resulting in three times spinning the Skoda and stalling the engine, before two overshoots in the afternoon’s stages, the final having a more dramatic knock on effect.
“We overshot a junction and just bumped a tree. Unfortunately it bent the front bumper into a bit of a shovel, so on the next stage over a crest there was a big rut in the road and the bumper scooped up a heap of gravel and there must have been a rock in there that just pierced the radiator.”
“Dale (Moscatt, co-driver) was able to do a quick repair at the end of the stage, but yeah, even more frustration to add to how our day had gone so far,” Pedder added.
Despite the disappointment of being hampered on lightning fast roads that would have suited Pedder’s naturally rapid driving style, he’s taking a positive outlook on the day as the team worked on the car ready for Leg Two.
“On pace we should be about sixth, at the moment we’re equal tenth in WRC2, but only about 20 seconds off sixth. The pace at the front, which may lead to some mistakes, plus a better handling car, I’m confident we can still net a good result. It might sound crazy but a podium is still a possibility too,” Pedder concluded.
Rally Poland Leg One Results
1. Teemu Suninen / Mikka Markkula (Skoda Fabia R5) 1:03:20.4
2. Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm (Skoda Fabia R5) +4.6
3. Elfyn Evans / Craig Parry (Ford Fiesta R5) +21.4
4. Karl Kruuda / Martin Jarveoja (Ford Fiesta R5) +28.7
=10. Scott Pedder / Dale Moscatt (Skoda Fabia R5) +2:43.0
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